New York: McSpedon & Baker, 1854.
Illustrated manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. 560 pp. with 5 fold out maps and 23 diagrams and lithographed views. Full red leather with ornately decorated gold on title, spine and covers. 12mo. Minor scuffs and repair to spine and corners. Illustrations, maps and text overall very good, some loose. Maps and illustrations complete according to the "Index to the Illustrations in the Manuals of the Corporation of the City of New York", published by the Society of Iconophiles, 1906. Ownership copy of Josiah W. Brown, Esq. D.T. Valentine, New York: 1854.
The "Manuals of the Corporation" were directories of extensive historical and contemporary records of New York compiled by D.T. Valentine. These books include detailed information on the meetings of the Aldermen Council, ordinances passed, public officials, the city's debts, directories of hospitals, alms houses and schools, ferry schedules, lists of public porters, demographics and census information, and descriptions of historic buildings and streets. Much of the information was gleaned from Dutch and English sources, as processed by Valentine. Notable illustrations and tables in this edition include the "Table of the Semi-centennial Mortality of the City of New York...Jan'y 1st, 1804, to Dec. 31st, 1853", Brooklyn Navy Yard, Fulton Street & Market, King's Arms Tavern, Fraunce's Tavern and the Beekman Mansion. Maps include the City of New York (1854), Plan of the City of New York (1767) and Plan of the City of New York and its Environs (both by Ratzer), Plan of the City and Environs of New York as they were in the Years 1742-1743 and 1744 and Plan of the Island of New York...in the vicinity of the late Fort Washington... D.T. Valentine (1801-1869) served as the Deputy to the Clerk of the Common Council for thirty-seven years without being promoted to Clerk. Valentine took it upon himself to compile the "Manuals", which he updated and published annually from 1841-1866. Many copies were personalized for prominent officials. This compendium is an excellent source of early New York City history.